We've actually had our her for just over a week now but you how busy it is with a new baby...Running around to show her off to all the relatives and such. So here is a picture:
She's adorable, isn't she?
She's a 2009 Hyundai Tucson. She had 17,500 kms (almost 11,000 miles) and she has lots of great options like AC and heated seats. She's only a 2.0 litre and FWD but with 4 new snow tires on her she handles our back roads like a pro. We're thrilled.
I have to admit that buying this car was a pile of fun from start to finish and we learned a lot that will come in handy next time we purchase a vehicle. Thought I'd share what we learned in case anyone is interested.
-Research. We started researching about a month or two before we planned to buy. We watch new and used car adds in the paper and on the internet so that we got a good idea of what fair prices were for various models, years and mileage. When we finally made our choice we knew we got a great deal because of all that research. We also, despite a huge Hyundai bias, checked out safety and reliability ratings for lots of different models.
-Math. The is an "of course" thing but I'll mention it anyway. We were tempted to buy new because of some wicked interest rates offered by dealers included 0%. However, in the end, the insane depreciation of a new car (especially my beloved Hyundais) generally meant much more in terms of savings then the low interest. A new 2009 Tucson with the options on our used one and all taxes and fees in would have pushed $30,000. Ours, after everything, was just a touch over $20,000. We'd had to have had a negative interest rate on a new car to compare with that.
-Buy out of town. We're close to Halifax, the "big city" for Nova Scotia and even for the Maritimes. Once we started looking for cars outside of Halifax we saw car prices drop and thousand or two for comparable models. We eventually drove a couple of hours to pick up our car.
-Set your limit and walk away when it can't be met. We fell head over heels in love with a 2007 Hyundai Sante Fe that had every option under the sun and leather seats. It was one swanky truck. But the dealership either couldn't or wouldn't meet our price. To be fair we were only separated by a thousand dollars and they'd come down several already but we knew what we could afford and had to move on. I can't tell you how good it feels to absolutely love something but not let that love take away your good sense.
-Have a great bank and get pre-approved for the loan. There's nothing so frustrating as having a saleman that insists on talking monthly payments when you want to talk final price if you've let on you may want to finance through them. Once we went through our bank negotiating was much easier.
Anyhow, I hope some of that is helpful to the next person who's car shopping.